Dept. of Geography News & Events this Week - 11/5/13

November 5, 2013                                                    
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voter turnout in America


Voter turnout in America and how it relates to quality of life.


The images here are screenshots from a sweeping interactive data visualization by Rosten Woo and Zachary Watson for the American Human Development Project.

Today is election day. Exercise your right to vote. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Identification is required for first-time voters or those who have a new precinct. Find your polling location in Pennsylvania.


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• At last month's annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Geographical Society in Pittsburgh (Oct. 25-26), undergrad senior Shannon Grumbly presented a poster based on her summer research conducted at the University of Iowa through the SROP program.  Grumbly and fellow senior Kira Smith co-facilitated with Jodi Vender a roundtable discussion on networking and professional development for students.  Several alumni also participated in the meeting, including Joe Bencloski (Ph.D. '76) currently faculty at Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Gina Bloodworth (Ph.D. '05), faculty at Salisbury University in Maryland; and Michael Glass (Ph.D. '07), faculty at University of Pittsburgh. Vender is past president of the organization, and Tim Dolney, associate professor of geography and GIScience at Penn State Altoona, is president-elect. Planning is underway for next year's annual meeting, which will take place in State College, Pennsylvania, Nov. 7–8, 2014.


November 1 Coffee Hour:  Petra Tschakert
Being a social scientist on the IPCC: Reflections from the conceptual frontline

• Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:30 p.m.

• The talk begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is preparing its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). The first part of this report (Working Group I) covers the Physical Science Basis, released in September 2013. The second and third parts, dealing with Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability (WGII) and Mitigation (WGIII), respectively, will be released in the spring of 2014. I am fortunate to be Penn State’s only coordinating lead author on the AR5, leading a new chapter in the IPCC’s 25 years of existence that assesses the state-of-the-art knowledge on the impacts of climate change and climate change responses on livelihoods and poverty. Being a social scientist in WGII brings both opportunities and challenges in navigating disciplinary understandings of fundamental yet evolving concepts such as vulnerability. Read more.

• Watch live or later with Coffee Hour To Go

• Tell your friends and colleagues: Anyone can sign up for for a Friday morning announcement about the lecture.

November 15  Tom Patterson "From maps to apps ..."

From the fall 2013 GEOGRAPHY newsletter
Reflections on 20 years of Riparia:

A dialogue between Rob Brooks, director, and Denice Wardrop, associate director
Rob Brooks (RPB): Denice, you came to Penn State as a returning adult student to pursue your doctorate just as Riparia (then the Penn State Cooperative Wetlands Center) was formed in 1993. What was it like to join the field team that year to begin sampling our first reference wetlands?
Denice Wardrop (DHW): Three things immediately come to mind. The first is that it was the ultimate team field experience: an intensive practice in our own area of expertise, with simultaneous exposure to a wide range of other disciplines in the same context. The learning experience was intense and totally invigorating. The second thought is that I saw so many sites in such a short time, that it provided a sense of the overall condition of the wetland resource that held up to years of experience (and probabilistic sampling) we did later. The third thing is just how good Sun Chips can taste at the end of a day on the Rob Brooks Field Diet and Exercise Plan. Read more.

The complete fall 2013 Department of Geography newsletter is now available in digital format on our website and via issuu.

Pittsburgh Area Penn State Alumni and Friends Reception

The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and alumnus Jim Bryja (’79 Mining Eng.) and his wife Coral will be hosting an event in the Pittsburgh area on Wednesday, November 13, 2013, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Rolling Hills Country Club. For directions and to RSVP:


AAG Newsletter

The Allegheny Front Radio program on environmental issues in Western Pennsylvania
Living on Earth
PRI's environmental news magazine

Got Science? Union of Concerned Scientists October 2013 e-newsletter


(New additions to this list are highlighted. Send events to

November 6  EMS Blood Drive Hintz Family Alumni Center from 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

                   To make an appointment email Divya Ghorpade  at with a time

November 6  Meteorology Colloquium: Judah Cohen "Has a Warming Arctic Contributed to Colder

                    Winter Weather in the Northern Hemisphere Mid-latitudes?"

November 8  Discovery U: A Showcase of Inspiring Science and Engineering Faculty, 

                   10:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at the HUB-Robeson Center Auditorium and online

November 8  Supporting Women in Geography (SWIG) is hosting a Sexual Harassment Awareness

                    Training in 319 Walker Building from 1:00–2:00 p.m. This training is open to all.

                    If you have questions, please contact Dana Cuomo at

November 12 Annual Environmental Forum at the HUB-Robeson Alumni Hall

November 17–23 Geography Awareness Week
(New additions to this list are highlighted.)

October 30–November 2    AAG Middle Atlantic Division Regional Meeting
                                      (jointly with AAG Applied Geography Specialty Group, Annapolis, Maryland

November 1–3  Graduate Climate Conference at Woods Hole, Massachusetts
November 6–8   International Greening Education Event in Karlsruhe, Germany 

November 13  2013 Geo Open Source Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

December 7     IEEE ICDM Workshop on Data Mining for Geoinformatics and Environmental Hazards

                     (DMG-EH) in Dallas, Texas
January 28–30   NCSE Building Climate Solutions National Conference and Global Forum,

                         Washington, D.C. 

February 14–15  Breaking Ground and Building Bridges: Communication, Gender, and

                         Social Change in Global Communities at Ohio University. For more information

                         or to submit a proposal, email:
April 8–12  AAG Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida

May 18–21 ISCRAM at Penn State

June 15–21 Fifth Jubilee International Conference on Cartography & GIS, Riviera, Bulgaria

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Angela Rogers, Marketing Communications Specialist
Department of Geography, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Penn State
316 Walker Building, University Park PA 16802
Office: 814-863-4562 Cell: 814-571-2942  •  •
Member of the Penn State Commission for Women. Ask me how you can get involved